Looking Forward to Christmas Boxed Sets

Here on Main Street, we’re gearing up for our Christmas boxed set. I sent in my story for formatting. My cover is finished.

christmas lie white

Here’s a teaser:

TO GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE WE GO

Millie sat at the window of her Brownstone apartment watching shoppers scurry down New York’s busy streets. Head-lights, streetlights, and the just-hung Christmas lights sparkled on the slowly drifting snow.

“Meow,” Byron cried as he jumped into Millie’s lap. He settled down with a purr.

“It’s just you and me this year.” Millie ran her fingers through the cat’s thick fur. She tried telling herself she needed the solitude, she deserved a respite from her demanding career, and she didn’t have the time or the energy to devote to cultivating meaningful relationships, but the longer she sat at the window watching everyone else pursue their Christmas with such purposefulness and pleasure…

No, that couldn’t be right, could it? There had to be a few Ebenezers in the crowd. She couldn’t be the only one wishing Christmas would pass her by. Leaning back into her wingback chair, feet propped up on the ottoman, she closed her eyes. It was just so embarrassing

How could she, one of the world’s most beloved romance writers, be alone for the holidays? Again? She’d taken a cruise to the Holy Land last year, thinking what could be more spiritually uplifting than Christmas in Bethlehem? But it had been a tour full of senior citizens complaining about their food and hotel beds. At least it had been better than the Christmas the year before with Liam in Monaco.

Refusing to think about Liam, Millie stood, knocking the sleeping Byron to the floor.

He complained loudly while arching his back and stalking away.

“Maybe this year we’ll just stay home,” Millie announced to no one since Byron had twitched his tail and disappeared into the next room.

Her landline’s shrill ring broke the silence. She studied the phone. She’d been meaning to shut off the service for months, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. Or at least that’s what she told herself. The truth was, it was her mom’s voice on the answering machine, and Millie couldn’t bring herself to throw it away, even after all these months.

Millie listened to her mom ask the caller to leave a message. No one who really wanted to talk to Millie ever used the landline. Her friends and business associates always called her cell…well, they usually texted or sent her an email. No one, other than scam artists and telemarketers, called her landline. Millie stood in the center of the apartment where she’d lived as a child, waiting.

“Hello? Camille? Hello?” An elderly woman’s voice warbled through the room. “You probably don’t remember me, but I was a friend of your Grandmother LaDonna. My name is Joy Baker.”

Joy Baker. Millie didn’t recall her grandmother ever mentioning a Joy Baker, and that was the sort of name she would have remembered because she really liked baked goods, and a joyful baker seemed like a good person to know.

“Anywho, I was hoping you’d give me a call. LaDonna told me you are a writer, and I have a little business proposition for you.”

Millie frowned at the phone, debating. Her head told her this happy baker person was probably a crook, but her lonely heart urged her to pick up the line.

Joy heaved an audible sigh. “I know you don’t know me…but I also knew your Grandpa Horace and your Uncle George. I run a little inn out here in Chickory, New York, and, well, it could use some publicity. I just thought maybe if you’d like to come and stay—” Click.

The answering machine only allowed a few seconds per message, which often took the callers by surprise. Millie smiled, wondering if this joyful baker was on the other end of the line, still yammering, completely unaware she’d been silenced mid-sentence.

Millie honestly couldn’t remember her mom, grandparents, or her Uncle George ever mentioning this Joy Baker, or Chickory, but the information tickled in the back of her mind. She settled down on the sofa and pulled her computer onto her lap.

Seconds later, images of an upstate village with a church on every corner flashed on the screen. A springtime shot showed the town green’s gazebo surrounded by tulips and crocus. Another image had the gazebo decked in autumn’s bright fallen leaves. At this time of year, Millie knew there would be a blanket of snow. And sure enough, she soon found images of Chickory, New York in full Christmas glory. It looked like a picture perfect place to spend the holidays…if you had someone to share it with.

Millie closed her eyes against the flashing recollections of her grandparent’s home in upstate New York. Sledding with her bright cheeked mom and dad, hanging the lights with her Uncle George, Aunt Helen, and little Midge, the poodle.

Ring. Ring.

The phone. Millie poised her fingers above her keyboard waiting. Once again, her heart told her to pick it up, but her sensible voice kept her in her chair.

“Oh dear,” Joy Baker’s voice floated back into the room, “I must have been cut off. Now, as I was saying, the old house belonged to my grandparents and their parents before them, and I’ve recently converted it into an inn. It’s just beautiful, if I do say so myself. My niece, Lorraine, is an artist and she’s made the whole thing just as cute as a button from the attic to the basement, but the thing is—” Click.

Millie typed in lodging, but the closest place to stay was a Motor Motel fifteen miles down the parkway.

If Joy Baker didn’t even have a website no wonder her inn was failing. A place could be cute right down to its cement foundation, but if no one knew it existed, it would always be empty.

The word empty made Millie cast a glance at her calendar. She had half a dozen parties penciled in, but not one of them filled her with anything other than dread. And the most dreadful one of all was happening tomorrow night. The annual Book Bash. Simone Shusterfield hosted it every year at her South Hampton mansion. Simone liked to collect writers and artists the way some rich old ladies collected designer purses and pedigree poodles. Her publisher insisted she attend, barring raging illness or a family calamity. But Millie didn’t have any family…or did she?

Could this Joy Baker count as an old family friend? And could her failing business be called a calamity?

Millie smiled. Of course, she wrote fiction for a living. She could make up anything she wanted to. She did it every day. And she got paid for it. And if she could think of a reasonable excuse to avoid Simone’s party and not have to watch Liam kiss his beautiful fiancé beneath the mistletoe, then she would go to Chickory, or just about anywhere.

Ignoring the frantic be-sensible-voice in the back of her mind, she looked up the distance. If she took the early morning train to Scranton, she could rent a car from there and be in Chickory by noon. She didn’t even have to stay the night. She’d just stay late enough to ensure she’d miss the party.

Her sensible voice scrambled for reasons to stay in the city. What if there’s a blizzard and she’s trapped there for weeks? What if this Joy Baker is a serial killer? Who’s going to take care of Byron if something should happen?

Telling her sensible self to shut up, Millie reserved a rental car in Scranton. Picking up her phone, Millie shot her friend and neighbor, Dorie, a quick text. Dorie’s daughter, Amber, often cat-sat Byron when Millie traveled. Then she headed for her closet, pulled out her overnight bag, and dusted it off.

The next morning, she had to run to catch the nine-fifteen from Grand Central. With her bag slung over her shoulder and banging against her side, she slipped into the train seconds before the doors slid shut. Taking a deep breath, she headed for the one available seat. At this time of the day, most of the commuters were students, retirees, and mothers with children.

The only vacant seat was next to a man about her age, early thirties, with wavy brown hair. He had a strong jaw, a thick dossier in one hand and a red pen in the other. Unless he abandoned his place on the aisle, she’d have to crawl over his long legs to get to the window seat.

Their eyes met, and for one small moment, the world around her froze, like a black and white photograph. The train lurched, sending Millie onto the man’s lap.

“I’m so sorry,” Millie said, scrambling over him and pulling her bag with her.

“It happens,” he said, “although not very often, and almost never unless I’m wearing a Santa suit.”

But something like this had never happened to Millie before, and she wondered if he had experienced the same time-stopping moment. Pulling down her navy sweater, she adjusted her pea coat, and to cover her flushed cheeks, she tucked her bag beneath the seat in front of her, refusing to meet his eye again, and wondering what would happen if she did.

“Do you often wear Santa suits?” she asked, finally raising her gaze to meet his. His eyes struck her again. They were the color of chocolate, but this time the world continued around them. The train clacked away from the city. Lower Manhattan’s gritty landscape flashed by the windows. Mothers hushed crying babies. Conversations filled the air.

“No. Almost never,” he said, his voice thick with humor, “but I will be tonight.”

“Are you going to work at a mall?” He didn’t look like the plump bearded guys who sat at Macy’s this time of year.

“No. I—never-mind.” In an obvious effort to change the subject, he nodded at the book in Millie’s hand. “My grandmother reads her books.”

Millie flushed with pleasure. She loved hearing from her readers. “Then she must have excellent taste.”

The man chuckled, his laugh as warm as eyes. “No. Quite the opposite, in fact. She’s a connoisseur of The Helping Hands Thrift store. She loves the hunt and the kitschy.” He wore a luscious camelhair coat so soft that Millie longed to touch it. He had a Burberry scarf draped around his neck and a gold watch on his wrist. He didn’t look like the sort of man who frequented thrift shops.

“Sounds like my kind of gal,” Millie said.

His lips twitched. “That sappy writer’s books fill my grandmother’s shelves and her movies are all over the Hallmark station. I have to watch at least one whenever I visit my grandma.”

Millie bristled and tucked the book in her pocket, praying he wouldn’t see her picture on the jacket cover and realize she was the sappy writer his grandmother loved.

“What takes you out of the city?” Millie asked, taking her turn to change the subject.

“My grandma. She told me she had a Santa emergency.” He sighed and shook his head. “I hope this isn’t another one of her ploys.”

“Ploys?”

He nodded. “She’s a schemer.”

“A schemer and a thrift store shopper. I like her already.”

“How about you? Why aren’t you headed to work?”

“Who says I’m not?”

He laughed, and something about the sound filled Millie in a way she couldn’t describe. It was as if she’d been hollow inside, but this man’s laugh filled a space she hadn’t even known existed.

“What do you do?” he asked.

Millie’s thoughts scrambled. Come on, you write fiction. She thought up something close but not quite the truth. “I’m a travel writer.”

She was a writer, and at the moment she happened to be traveling. Good one.

“Oh yeah? That’s great. I love to travel. Where have you been?”

“Hmm, lots of places, of course.”

He smiled. “Of course. But where are you traveling to now?”

“There’s a brand new inn in Chickory, New York. I’m going to check it out.”

His face paled, his lips pressed together, and a calculating look filled his eyes. “Is that so? What magazine did you say you work for?”

“I freelance.” Sometimes.

“Ah.” He cleared his throat, a low, grumbling unhappy sound. “So, you’re coming all this way to see this new inn.”

She nodded. “The Snowfield Inn. I even love its name.”

“But will you still love it in July?”

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“When it’s sunny, no one wants to stay in a snowfield.”

She raised her eyebrows. “I think that depends on how sunny it is. There’ve been plenty of melting hot summer days where I longed for a good snowfield.”

“It’s a ridiculous name for an inn,” he said in a tone that made her wonder why he should care.

“Do you know it?”

“I’ll be playing Santa there tonight.”

“Really?”

“Yes, you should come.”

“I won’t be staying long. This is just a day trip.”

“You’re coming all the way to Chickory for the day?” He nodded at her bag. “Then what’s that for?”

“I have my computer and just a couple of things in case I decide to stay the weekend.”

“So, there’s hope.”

“Not really. I’m mostly trying to avoid a party tonight.”

“Not a party person?”

“I like parties, but this one…” She took a deep breath, looked out the window, and relived the pain. “My ex is going to be there with his fiancé.”

“You’re divorced?”

“No, but Liam and I…we’d been together a long time.” She didn’t know what made her open up to this man with the chocolate-colored eyes, maybe it was because she thought she’d never see him again, or maybe it was because she hadn’t told anyone for so long about how badly she’d been hurt, or maybe because she liked the way his gaze touched hers, but she found herself telling him all the sordid details: the purple panties under the sofa, the anonymous posts on her writing blog asking her why if she was such an expert on romance was her boyfriend partying with Scarlett McFaye?

“Wait, your ex is marrying Scarlett McFaye?” His eyes widened. “Wow, just wow.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s what Liam and all the rest of mankind think, too.”

“Hey wait, don’t lump me into Liam’s camp.”

“I can’t believe I told you all of this.” Millie flushed and looked out the window. “I don’t even know your name.”

He reached out and took her hand as if to shake it, but he didn’t. Instead, he held it in his own. “I’m Carson Trent, but tonight, if you come to the inn, you can call me Santa.”

When she didn’t respond, he gently squeezed her hand. “This is where you tell me your name,” he said.

“I’m Millie Cruise.” But most of the world knows me as Camille Harper, AKA the sappy writer.

They parted at the train station. Millie had a ridiculous desire to give Carson a hug, even though she had just met him. Her sensible voice told her to shoulder her bag, casually wave, and get her rental car, but her feet shuffled and she stuttered over saying goodbye.

“Are you sure you want to rent a car?” Carson asked. “I’m going there anyway, and it’s a three-hour drive.”

“That’s really nice of you, but how would I get back?”

“You ride back with me on Sunday night.”

“Mmm, no.” For once, she agreed with her sensible voice.

“Do you know how to get to Chickory?” Carson asked.

“My phone does.”

“Of course.” He looked deflated. Taking her hand, he said, “If I’m lucky, I’ll see you again.”

She left her hand in his. “Do you believe in luck?”

Pain flashed in his eyes. “Not really. Do you?”

“I want to…but it often lets me down.”

“Then let me give you my card, just in case you…” His voice trailed away, but after he cleared his throat he added, “In case you need anything or get lost.”

“Thanks.” She scanned the card. It was heavy, cream-colored with bold navy print. Carson Trent, Principal, Trent and Tavenor Investors, Your Business Partners. She pocketed the card, thought about giving him hers, but quickly changed her mind.

Her sensible voice told her she couldn’t hide her identity from this man forever, but Millie was getting pretty tired of her sensible voice.

Why not tell him who you are? A less sensible voice demanded to know. After all, you both live in New York. Why not meet? Why not date?

Millie shut down all the voices in her head because she now realized they had all stopped being sensible the moment she had first seen Carson.

“Nice meeting you,” she said, tightening the grip on her bag and turning away.

She didn’t look back.

If any of our writer friends have a Christmas story, please share it with us. Be sure and leave a buy link in the comments.

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About Kristy Tate

USA Today bestselling author Kristy Tate has come a long way from small-town Washington. Her avid curiosity and love of reading have carried her to thirty plus countries. (She loves to travel to the places she reads and writes about.) She's the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling and award-winning Beyond Series and the Kindle Scout winning Witch Ways series. She writes mysteries with romance, humorous romance, light-hearted young adult romance, and urban fantasy. When she's not reading, writing, or traveling, she can be found playing games with her family, hiking with her dogs, or watching movies while eating brownies. She is also a popular public speaker and presents writing workshops for schools, libraries, and fundraisers. All proceeds donated to charity. References available upon request.
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44 Responses to Looking Forward to Christmas Boxed Sets

  1. This sounds good 🙂 congrats on your upcoming release. Mine is called The Sheriff Meets His Match: http://authl.it/3qq
    “Are you just going to watch us, Daddy, or are you going to help?” Tina stood grinning quizzically at him, her hands on her narrow jean clad hips.
    Jack’s mouth quirked. No one did attitude like his girl. “I was waiting on you two hens to quit clucking so we could get down to work,” he teased.
    “Sure, you were. Did you know daydreaming is an early sign of the onset of dementia?” She threw him a string of lights and he grimaced at the knotted mess.
    “I thought I taught you to respect your elders?” he said, and grinned at Laurel’s sputtered laughter. “See, Miss Thomas agrees.”
    She shook her head and the hat slid south. A quick catch righted its position. She handed the glass ornaments over to Tina and picked up a second one from the supplies. “Leave me out of this, you two. I’m just an impartial observer.”
    She turned and carefully hung a shiny red bell on one of the nearby branches, giving it a little flick with her fingertip that resounded through his core. A snow globe of a festive village followed, then she lifted a blue velvet Santa from the box and stood for a moment contemplating the best location. Jack was about to suggest a bare spot on a lower branch when she stretched up on a death defying pair of candy apple red heels and damn near stopped his breath. Her modest, knee-length skirt slid inch-by-tantalizing-inch up her thighs, revealing shapely legs and a taut heart-shaped derriere. Her furry white sweater lifted to play peek-a-boo with a cherry blossom branch tattooed onto the small of her back. Jack’s fingers itched to touch the engraved symbol of feminine strength. His mouth watered with the urge to nuzzle her neck below her raised chin. To turn her into his arms and pick up where they’d left off. To…
    “Dad, you’re making it worse.”
    Tina’s voice jarred him awake. What was he doing fantasizing with his daughter right there in the room? And over someone who probably wouldn’t even stick around until spring either. He glanced down and saw the jangled mess he’d made of the lights and swore under his breath.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. stephaniequeen says:

    Kristy I’m so hooked on your story!! I was rooting for Millie after the first paragraph! Can’t wait to read the boxed set of all your Christmas stories.
    SQ

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on your upcoming release!

    I have several Christmas stories:

    Love Before Honor – A medieval knight. A Regency lady. The magical Christmas that brings them together. Only 99 cents!
    http://amzn.to/1MngUh5

    Masked Love – A handmaiden falls for a lord at a masquerade ball, only he is intended for her lady! Will love save the day this Christmas? Also only 99 cents!
    http://amzn.to/1GEqgTB

    Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem – A collection of Christmas novellas featuring runway brides from Regency writers. Available for pre-order and 100% of the royalties go to the Malala Fund.
    http://amzn.to/1MngS93

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congrats on your release. I have a paranormal Christmas release out now.

    HOLIDAY BLISS
    http://amzn.to/1Ox2S0Y

    18k words

    Two years after super storm Sandy ripped up the Eastern seaboard, panther shifter Sheila Houlihan has finally rebuilt her home in the shore town of Bliss, New Jersey. She looks forward to her first Christmas there, if only Jonah will finish with the interior painting.

    Jonah, however, is interested in being more than Sheila’s handyman. He doesn’t care about the difference in their ages, and with Sheila soon to become an empty nester he knows she’ll want some company to keep her warm this winter.

    It’s only a matter of getting Sheila to see that age is only a number.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Congrats on your new release, Kristy. The story sounds great!
    And thanks for the chance to share.

    My upcoming release, The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal, is available for pre-sale almost everywhere, including Amazon: http://www.amzn.com/0373755961

    Here’s a quick peek at the story:

    As Mitch strode through the doorway, Andi crossed her arms, rested her hips against the table, and gave in to the pleasure of seeing him. In tight black T-shirt, jeans and black biker boots, he looked taller and tougher and sexier than ever before. That T-shirt and his black hair made his eyes startling blue.

    “Jed and Paz told me I would find you here.”

    She frowned. “Is everything okay? Do they need me to take Missy off their hands?”

    “No, they’re feeding her Paz’s Christmas cookies, and they said that’s keeping her out of trouble. They also said your kids won’t ever want to go home.”

    Just what Jed was hoping for, she knew.

    “What can I do for you?” she asked. When he grinned, she crossed her arms more tightly. “I’m very busy.”

    “That’s why I’m here. Jed figured he’d keep me out of trouble by giving me a job.”

    She stood straighter. “I don’t need a helper, thank you.”

    “Too late. I’m on board. What do you want me to do?”

    She turned away and rummaged through a carton of ornaments. “Nothing. I’ve got everything under control.” The words made her think again of her reaction to his kiss. Of her loss of control.

    “Andi, walking away yesterday didn’t make me go away. Pretending to be busy here doesn’t mean I’ll disappear. Why don’t you tell me what’s bothering you?”

    “At the moment, you are.”

    “Well, that’s a start.”

    She shot a look over her shoulder and found him smiling down at her. He was so close, she could have taken a step back and found herself in his arms.

    ~~
    Thanks for reading!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Several of my Dream Series books take place at Christmas (not on purpose; it just worked out that way). Here’s an excerpt from book three, DREAM CHILD (http://getBook.at/DreamChild):

    :The band starts in on “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” and I follow Brian’s eyes towards the dance floor, where there are a handful of couples already out there. Lizzie sees as well, and hops off her chair, grabs Brian’s hands and tries to pull him up. “Come on, Daddy!”

    He looks over to me, and I shrug. I can’t say no to her. “I’ll save a dance for you,” he says, standing up and letting Lizzie lead him to the dance floor. He lifts her up and stands her on top of his feet, slowly spinning her around the floor.

    After a minute or two, I hear her, all the way across the room. “I can do it myself!” She steps down off Brian’s feet, and, sure enough, after a couple of hesitant steps she’s following along as though she’s been dancing for years. I don’t think that girl will ever stop surprising me – or maybe I ought to stop being surprised and just assume she can do anything she sets her mind to.
    “You ought to take a picture,” Laurie says from behind me.

    “If I had a camera, I would,” I answer her, and by the time I turn around she’s already gone. But she’s back a moment later with a photographer in tow. I had no idea there’d be an official photographer – they really did think of everything for this party. He snaps several shots of Brian and Lizzie just as the song ends and the band goes straight into “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

    That’s nice and slow, just my speed. “Can you sit here with Lizzie for a few minutes?” I ask Laurie. I don’t wait for her answer before I head over to my husband. “May I cut in?” I say to Lizzie, and, after a nod from Brian, she steps back from him, curtseys, and trots over to Laurie.
    Then Brian takes me in his arms, and all conscious thought stops. I hear the music, and I feel myself swaying slowly back and forth, but mostly all I’m aware of is his strong hands holding me close to him, and his beautiful eyes gazing into mine and – that’s it. This is perfect. He’s perfect.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. marymarvella says:

    Christmas’s Best Bet, Humble Piehttp://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Best-Bet-Humble-novella-ebook/dp/B006LUJ8F6 Southern Flavor!
    When Brock, a wealthy lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia, loses a bet with his partners, he must take up the challenge to get a job in a Waffle House and work there after office hours in their law firm for a month. He’s never worked so hard or learned so much about people. During that month he learns humility and caring.
    Teaser

    Atlanta, Georgia present:
    “If we don’t stop working and go for food soon, you’ll need to call 911 to revive me.” Jonathan Brockton Hamilton III was so tired he could barely tell up from down. “Hey, fellas,” he called from his office.
    He stood on legs stiff from sitting behind his desk for hours. He extended his arms above his head in a stretch much overdue. He shut down his laptop and ambled to his door, then to the conference room where Drake and Carter hunched over one of many stacks of paper.
    “You talkin’ to us, Amigo?” Drake drawled, pushing gold-rimmed glasses up on his head. He tapped his Monte Blanc pen in a muffled tattoo on a stack of papers. Only he would use a pen like that for everyday work. For signing contracts for clients, that was a different matter. Of the three partners, Drake could be counted on to be the most designer brand conscious.
    “Nah, I was talkin’ to the walls. Aren’t you fellas starved?” Brock was certain his words slurred from hunger.
    “Carter went into his stash of crackers hours ago and we shared ‘em. I’ve been thinkin’ of spreading mustard on a table leg and gnawing to make my stomach hush growlin’.”
    Drake leaned back in his leather chair. His blue dress shirt with his tie knot barely loose looked as though he hadn’t been working twelve hours straight. “That man never stops workin’.”
    Carter peered over crooked reading glasses and rubbed his forehead, leaving an ink-smear over one eye. He’d pulled them from a bag with Bargains Are Us on it.
    Carter dropped his pen on his legal pad filled with notes in his cramped printing. “If you two are gonna whine, we might as well quit and go get a bite. We can finish this tomorrow and be ready to put together a top notch brief.”
    When Carter stood he looked even more rumpled than he had this morning, which was hard to believe since he usually looked like he slept in his clothes. Could Carter sleep at the office instead of in the apartment no one had seen yet? Maybe it didn’t exist. He was always first in the office and last to leave.
    No one worked harder than Carter. He has shown more genius than Drake and me put together. The decision to offer him a partnership with no investment the day the three of us graduated Mercer Law School was brilliant.
    Drake stretched his arm to study his Rolex. He squinted at the beyond expensive timepiece. “It can’t be ten thirty.”
    “Yeah, it is,” Brock rolled his shoulders. “I’m all done in. I’m callin’ it a night and headin’ out for a bite to eat. Want to join me?”
    “Count me in.” Drake rose and grabbed his suit jacket.
    “Me, too.” Carter rounded the long conference table.
    “Wanna take one car?” Brock offered.
    The three men strode out into the warm November night. Brock thanked the fates he’d been born in Georgia, where winters were mild and people were still friendly. Anyone within fifty miles of Atlanta could get almost anything he needed to make life good.
    “Nah,” Drake answered as he punched his remote to open his Beemer door. “I might get lucky and need my own ride.”
    Brock shook his head at his friend’s confidence. He probably would manage to pick up a woman for the night.
    Carter unlocked his older model Ford Taurus. “Drake’s got a point about taking our own cars. The closest place likely to be open is the Waffle House three blocks from here.”
    “The what?” Drake asked.
    “He said Waffle House,” Brock answered. “Let’s go, I’ve never actually been inside one.”
    He smiled as he pulled his Audi from the paved parking area into the driveway.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Congrats on the release!

    Here’s my Christmas contribution!

    Reindeer Wars

    Tina has a tendency to go a little overboard when decorating for the holidays, but Brian decides her skills are just what he needs to get into the Christmas spirit. Can this budding relationship survive when they find themselves in a knock-down-drag-out competition to win the office’s “most outrageous holiday sweater?”

    Kindle:http://www.amazon.com/Reindeer-Wars-ebook/dp/B009P6HWHO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350480367&sr=8-1&keywords=reindeer+wars

    Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reindeer-wars-liese-sherwood-fabre/1113366632?ean=2940015596823

    IBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reindeer-wars/id882927648?mt=11

    Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Liese-Sherwood-Fabre/e/B00810INE6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

    Excerpt:
    The cart Tina was pushing collided with something, and a humph burst from the other side. The rather precariously assembled mountain of old claim files wobbled, and those on the summit slid forward. Another yelp followed their descent.

    What the—?

    She peered around the still-teetering towers, but saw no one.

    Why had Mr. Collins piled them so high?

    The sound of paper shuffling rose from the other side of the cart. Her throat constricted, and
    she squeezed past the cart in the narrow passageway between the office cubicles to check out which employee she’d hit.

    Please let it be Mr. Collins. He deserves it. Just don’t let it be—

    Her stomach twisted into a knot. Of course it was Brian Foster. Who else? The newest salesman at Judicious Insurance crouched on the floor, rubbing his thigh with one hand and holding a file folder in the other. Papers littered the area around him.

    “Are you all right?” she asked.

    He squinted up at her. “I think so.”

    Kneeling beside him, she gathered up the fallen documents and reached for the one he still held. “I’m so sorry. Mr. Collins loaded the cart. I should’ve made two trips, but we only have one cart, and I didn’t have any place to put them because my desk is already full from the end of year
    re—”

    “Mr. Collins?” he asked, rising to his full height. He held out a hand and pulled her to her feet. “You’re in claims, right? Tina Martins?”

    With a dip of her chin, she pulled her hand from his grasp and clutched the papers she still held to her chest. His hand had been warm and strong, and the power from his touch continued to surge through her body. “I’ll…uh…let me pick up this mess, and I’ll get out of your way.”

    Unable to meet the man’s gaze, she bent over to retrieve the rest of the papers. He leaned over at the same time, and their heads met with a sharp crack.

    Could this get any worse?

    She met his gaze over the spilled papers, expecting an angry glare in return. Instead, the most beautiful pair of honey-tinted eyes gave her a wide stare.

    Oh, God. I’ve given him a concussion.

    http://www.liesesherwoodfabre.com

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carol says:

    Kristy, wonderful cover and excerpt. I look forward to reading when the boxed set is released!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks everyone for sharing! I love stories about the holidays

    Liked by 4 people

  11. mickiesherwood says:

    Beautiful cover, Kristy.
    ****
    Will Ashley spend Christmas brooding over bitter memories? Or will Craig, a dynamic paraplegic, present the deserving divorcée with a gift she can’t resist?
    ****
    Christmas Crush
    A sweet, short read now also available in paperback http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QQFBW1Y/.

    Scene: This time, it’s Ashley to Craig’s rescue.

    “Tank’s clearing time for me at his Christmas party. Look…I know this is short notice.”

    “How about no notice.” She remembered how this time of the year used to be her favorite. “I’m not in a partying mood.” Regardless, Ashley wandered back in to sit on the couch facing him. He examined her, she guessed, to gauge her receptiveness to his request. “If I do this, then, we’re even? All debts paid?”

    “All debts paid.”

    What was the worst that could happen? The loss of self-pity? His eyes held such sincerity as he attempted to read her features. Ashley offered him her hand to seal the deal. “What time do I need to meet you back here?”

    He used both of his hands to cup hers. “You don’t. The function starts rather late. I’ll call for you at your hotel around eight p.m.”

    “I’m at the Wyndham.” The calloused skin near his thumb rubbed against the back of her hand. “What should I wear?”

    “It’s just a house party. I’m going to wear dress slacks and a sports jacket, if that helps.”

    “I’ll be ready.”

    “Thanks, Ashley.” He seemed jubilant. “We’ll have fun.”

    She had to steal her hand away. “I’ll be the judge of that.”

    The joy on his face buoyed her to shove aside her trepidations, not only about the so-called date, but also about her troublesome life. She started the walk to the door, but turned to say something just in time to see the gleam in his mysterious, chocolate-colored eyes. Then, it hit her. Craig sat eyelevel to her butt.

    “Are you ogling me?” Ashley couldn’t believe it.

    Craig wheeled closer to her. “Your grace and carriage commanded attention. I simply followed orders.”

    Oh my God. He…is…flirting. She didn’t know how to respond to such a blatant compliment. It left her speechless. Instead of a comeback, she opted to flee the scene. A bashful smile twitched at her lips.

    ****

    Thanks for this opportunity to share a snippet from Christmas Crush.

    Mickie Sherwood
    ~~Sweet, and spicy romance – a heartbeat away! ~~
    http://www.mickiesherwood.com/blog
    http://www.twitter.com/MickieSherwood

    Liked by 2 people

  12. alannalucas27 says:

    Thanks for including me!! Mine is Mistletoe Waltz 🙂

    Trust, patience and mistletoe must overcome a forced marriage, dark secrets, and a looming shadow that threatens all chance of Faith finding love with the Marquess of Hawthorne.

    A HOLIDAY WISH
    Marcus, the Marquess of Hawthorne, vowed never to fall in love. He should have vowed never to marry. Caught in a compromising situation, he’s been forced to wed the young woman he was trying to rescue. Beautiful? Yes. But his new bride’s apprehensions seem worse than his own, and as family and friends arrive at Deer Park to celebrate Christmastide, all he wants is for Faith to play the part of a happy wife and hostess.

    She will not, however—or cannot. And when she commits yet another desperate act, this time with disastrous results, Marcus must save Faith once again. Now he must discover what drives her, what dark secrets keep her unable to trust or love, and what she truly desires. Only then will they, with the magic of mistletoe, overcome the pasts and taste the delights of the season.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-Waltz-Alanna-Lucas-ebook/dp/B00P8BZB5A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444773831&sr=8-1&keywords=alanna+lucas

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Jina Bacarr says:

    What delightful stories to get us into the holiday spirit!! Esp. when it’s over 90 degrees today…

    My holiday story, The CHRISTMAS PIANO TREE, takes place in Kissing Creek, Kentucky near where I grew up. The piano tree is based on a family tradition…

    Here’s the blurb:

    What’s Christmas without a tree?

    Kristen Delaney can’t afford a Christmas tree this year, but she doesn’t want to disappoint her little girl Rachel. The six-year old already lost her daddy in Afghanistan. To cheer her up, Kristen hires a homeless vet to play Santa at the private school where she works. Little does she know it was no accident the hunky Santa showed up in Kissing Creek just in time for Christmas Eve.

    Sgt. Jared Milano promised Scott Delaney he’d take care of his wife and little girl. He also shared with him a secret that would change Kristen’s life, a secret about her Aunt Gertrude and an old piano, but the IED blast blew away part of his memory.

    Jared fights his growing desire for Kristen as he struggles to regain his past and overcome the PTSD haunting him. Kristen is lonely and not ready to fall in love again, but she can’t take her eyes off him. Doesn’t want to. When he’s accused of a crime, she refuses to believe he’s guilty and invites the handsome soldier to spend Christmas Eve with them.

    When a sudden snowstorm turns deadly and Rachel goes missing, Jared must use all his skills to find her and prove to Kristen he’s guilty only of falling in love with her.

    “The Christmas Piano Tree” is the story of a pretty young war widow who re-discovers the magic of the holiday season with the help of a homeless vet and an old piano.
    =========
    Amazon Kindle Link: http://amzn.com/B00OY9L8KO
    Thank you for the invitation to post today!
    Jina

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Carol says:

    Love the town, Kissing Creek! I can tell The CHRISTMAS PIANO TREE will be a Kleenex story. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jina Bacarr says:

    once upon a Christmastime, I baked and baked holiday cookies for the soldiers stationed on my base in Italy…so many green and red sprinkles, I glowed with them when the wind blew. I never forgot that and it inspired the opening in my story with my baker heroine. Thanks for listening…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Carol says:

    Jina, that alone deserves a few Kleenex. I’ll check out your book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jina Bacarr says:

    Wow, Carol, thank you!! You can read a good bit of chapter one (and the prologue) in the sample on Amazon. You’ll meet our stressed out heroine and our hunky hero,
    a vet on a mission to help his dead buddy’s wife and little girl. Christmas Piano Tree is a sweet romance with that small town feel. Let me know what you think and thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Joan Reeves says:

    Love the cover, Kristy! I’m looking forward to all the Christmas romances too.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. leighmorgan1 says:

    Fabulous, Kristy! Can’t wait to read the whole set. Your cover is lovely and the excerpt is quite the tease…Love it! Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The cover is beautiful. My critique partners and I have a short story anthology, Timeless Moments. It releases tomorrow, Oct 15. We’re so excited. It’s our third Christmas anthology. http://amzn.com/B015S5NRH4

    Liked by 1 person

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